The art is percolating. I am excited.
At the same time, I’m working on the sequel (needs more action!) (that’s kind of my mantra while writing). And I’m wrestling with the ending of a short story.
And I’m reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.
NeuroTribes. I’m enjoying it. It’s a nonfiction book about autism and Asperger’s and the related spectrum of cognition. I’m tempted to nominate it for a Related Work Hugo, because autism is definitely related to science fiction, and I saw plenty of evidence of neurodiversity awareness at Worldcon so I gather it’s a subject of interest.
While some people might argue that all nerds belong on the autistic spectrum, you could definitely say that all sociable nerds probably know someone on the autistic spectrum, through gaming or fandom or science fiction conventions or special interest groups. Science fiction especially likes to think about how different kinds of brains experience the world, as in stories like Flowers for Algernon.
God Stalk was recommended so many times on File 770 that it became a running joke, so I bought it. I was 70% through when I gave up. Catlike girl with amnesia, rogue’s guild, kind of an internal-mystery plot as the clueless initially-clueless protagonist figures out why she’s in the story. Somehow it didn’t mesh very well with my cognitive architecture, but it was very well written.
An E. Nesbit anthology. Oh, jolly! So cozy and British and magical. Somehow I never noticed the socialism as much when I read these as a child, and now it kind of makes me laugh, what with all of the sad/rabid puppies people finding overbearing socialism behind every shrub. Nesbit’s Railway Children rescue a poor persecuted Russian communist refugee at one point while the author hops primly onto her soapbox for a political interlude, then it’s back to the trainspotting action.
I guess I really don’t mind when novelists get on a soapbox from time to time, as long as they get back to the action rather than tediously belaboring their point. I can even handle it if I don’t agree with their particular soapbox, such as the whole issue with Susan and Narnia, or all that ammosexual stuff in the Monster Hunter books, or the appalling sexism and racism of Harry Flashman. When they start building barricades out of soapboxes, I take offense.
I also read several books I didn’t like enough to write about. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.